Capitol Hill Sensei celebrates 25 years at Emerald City Aikido


(Image: CHS)

Riding on the martial arts belt of “The Karate Kid” movies of the 1980s, a wise sensei laid down mats in a Capitol Hill storefront. The slap of the padding hitting the floor called students to the door where the sensei taught them the martial art of aikido.

For 25 years now, Emerald City Aikido’s chief instructor and founder Joanne Veneziano Sensei has been teaching children and adults aikido — a martial art that uses a lot of circular movements and encourages connecting with others, including attackers, instead of blocking or forcing something on them.

“People like the idea of peaceful resolution of conflict and they like the idea of using the energy of an attack to turn it around safely for both people,” she said. Continue reading

Born of a much-loved Capitol Hill grocery, Rainbow Natural Remedies marks 20 years of business on 15th Ave E

For those trying to cure a cold or reduce stress Rainbow Natural Remedies’ 20th-anniversary celebration might be their cup of tea. This weekend, owners Ross and Patricia Kling are giving Rainbow patrons free samples, demonstrations, readings and raffles.

While this might be the Rainbow Natural Remedies 20th birthday, its history stretches back even further to when the Klings first opened Rainbow Grocery in the 1980s, making it one of Seattle’s first natural food markets.

In 1996, the couple was presented with the opportunity to do more.

“At that time customers were coming in and asking our grocery stockers important health questions,” Ross Kling said. “And the stockers didn’t have the knowledge and the pace of the grocery store was such that it wasn’t conducive to having that kind of conversation.” Continue reading

Artistic director and Egyptian Theater-saving master leaving SIFF

Carl Spence, SIFF artistic director

Carl Spence, SIFF artistic director

During the past 23 years, Carl Spence has been instrumental in transforming the Seattle International Film Festival from an annual event to a year-round organization and saving the Uptown Theatre and Capitol Hill’s Egyptian Theatre while he’s at it.

Six months from now Spence, who serves as SIFF’s artistic director, will be saying goodbye as he leaves for new adventures with his family and in his work life.

Spence was hired in 1994 on a three-month contract for the festival to do marketing work, which wasn’t what he wanted. He was interested in programming. But it was the organization he wanted to be with.

“It’s like the best place anyone could imagine to get a job,” he said. Continue reading

Seattle’s AIDS Walk reaches 30 years with health for the living and hope for a cure

A 2015 walker (Image: CHS)

A 2015 walker (Image: CHS)

For 30 years in Seattle, people have walked and run to raises money to fight HIV and AIDS. Saturday, the End AIDS Walk will again circle Volunteer Park.

AIDS walks have historically been held to remember those who have lost their lives and to gather as a community, Jeremy Orbe, development coordinator with community health organization and event host Lifelong, told CHS. While the End AIDS Walk Seattle still honors lives that have been lost, education and outreach help prevent new cases and medical advancements make the disease more manageable. People who have HIV or AIDS and are receiving treatment can live healthy lives.

“Folks aren’t necessarily losing their lives. … They’re able to live long and happy and fulfilling lives,” Orbe said.

Because of advancements in treatments, the walk is now more focused on supporting those living with the disease and looking to the future for a cure. Continue reading

Liberty celebrates a decade of craft cocktails and sushi on Capitol Hill

15th Ave E is a place where businesses tend to stick around. The neighborhood commercial district is still home to a century-old cobbler and one of the area’s longest standing mechanics. Ten years ago it was still supporting a church-run thrift shop called Trinkets & Treasures.

The wicker furniture and dusty vinyl records left in 2006, but in its place came a bar that has become a neighborhood institution in its own right. This month Liberty celebrates 3,800+ consecutive days of business on Capitol Hill.

Owner Andrew Friedman has been at the helm every one of those days and plans to continue being a constant presence even as ownership changes loom for the cocktail and sushi lounge. “I really enjoy the community aspect of a neighborhood bar,” Friedman said.

The craft cocktail craze was still a few years off in Seattle when Friedman opened Liberty in 2006. Having prior service industry experience, Friedman decided to take a shot at opening a bar when he walked  by15th Ave space and noticed it had become available. “I knew I wanted to open a bar … I was dreaming of being on Capitol Hill,” he said.

Rainbow Shot
Continue reading

Yoga studio celebrates 20 years on Capitol Hill, in ‘feminine leadership’ style


The yoga center has been at The Greenus building since 1996

8 Limbs Yoga Center is celebrating 20 years on Capitol Hill.

Anne Phyfe Palmer opened the first 8 Limbs studio in the historic Greenus building at 500 E Pike in October 1996, and she has since expanded the business to have locations in Phinney Ridge, Westwood, and West Seattle.

“Anne has an entrepreneurial spirit and a deep passion for yoga,” said 8 Limbs Yoga’s Ashley Dahl. “From the get-go, this model has really worked.” Dahl says 8 Limbs is collaborative and emphasizes partnership behind the scenes. “That process – I would call that a feminine leadership style.” Continue reading

Garage, Capitol Hill’s pool hall and bowling alley, turns 20


Garage’s original pool hall and 2003 bowling addition on the left. (Images: Garage)

Even before the first rounds of pool and bowling were played at Garage, ball games were essential to start of the Broadway bar and restaurant celebrating its 20th anniversary this month on Capitol Hill.

The first was a 1994 charity softball game where Alex Rosenast met Mike Bitondo. Rosenast, already a successful Seattle club owner, would later ask the inexperienced, recent college graduate to manage the new pool hall he was opening on Capitol Hill.

The second came eight years later with a pair fortunate seats at SafeCo Field. It was 2002 when Bitondo and Rosenast were sitting down at a Mariners game and realized the man sitting directly in front of them was the property owner of the building adjacent to the Garage, then just a restaurant and pool hall. Rumor had it the owner was preparing to sell the auto-row era building — then home to a fish tank wholesaler — to an office supply chain store. Continue reading

Capitol Hill massacre victims unforgotten at 22nd and Republican

Capitol Hill Shooting Memorial 2.JPGFriday will mark 10 years since six people were killed by a single gunman in an early morning shooting rampage at a Capitol Hill house party. The victims were 14-year-old Melissa Moore, 15-year-old Suzanne Thorne, 21-year-old Christopher Williamson, 22-year-old Justin Schwarz, 26-year-old Jeremy Martin, and 32-year-old Jason Travers.

As with so many mass shootings since, there is still no real explanation for what prompted 28-year-old Kyle Huff to embark on what was likely the most violent 10 minutes in Capitol Hill history. Stories and letters published in the days following the tragedy painted Huff as an introverted and isolated young man. Those who knew him from his hometown of Whitefish, Montana remembered him and his twin brother as inseparable outcasts, quiet and shy. Huff’s north Seattle landlord described him as respectful.

On the night of the shooting, residents of the 22nd and E Republican house were hosting an afterparty following a rave, billed Better Off Undead, at the now-shuttered Capitol Hill Arts Center on 12th Ave. Huff was reportedly invited to the house while at the rave, but was not close with anyone at either party. After arriving to the house and making some small talk, Huff left. A short time later he returned, heavily armed, just before sunrise.

Across the intersection, a longtime resident named Susan was looking for her morning newspaper when she noticed a man across the street spray painting “NOW” on the sidewalk.

She thought it was strange but not alarming, and went back inside. Minutes later Susan heard what she initially thought were firecrackers. Then came the screams. She went outside again and watched as the man she saw spray painting emerged from the house, placed the barrel of a shotgun in his mouth, and pulled the trigger. “It was very traumatic,” she said. “I remember it all.” Continue reading

CHS turns 10

A scene from one of our biggest news stories... ever

A 2013 scene from one of CHS’s biggest news stories… ever. Thanks, Macklemore.

Ten years ago today, CHS published for the first time. The post still makes me cringe. January 12, 2016 marks our 10-year anniversary, of sorts. Back then, we clung much closer to the “community” part of community news. Some of you were there. You might — sometimes — miss those days. In the decade since, CHS has grown into something else. At first, it was my own curiosity and the questions from regular readers that drove the site. There were days without posts. There were no ads. But the questions got more complicated and the time spent answering them, more involved. Within two years, CHS was a puny little news operation, paying people to report and take pictures. Within three years, our taxes started getting complicated. Four and five years in, this had become serious stuff. But not too serious. We still try to find time for a goof. We’ll still push an unvarnished “community post” onto the homepage. The whole point has been to do this in a different way. So far, so good.

Below, I’ve taken the easy way out from trying to explain the past decade by listing our biggest news days in the past 10 years:

  1. 4/1/2014 — 16,683 readers — E Madison property home to Piecora’s sold to developer in $10.29 million deal
  2. 8/6/2015 — 16,762 readers  Police investigating after man shot in gunfight outside club at Pine/Melrose
  3. 1/23/2015 — 19,608 readers — Anheuser-Busch acquires Elysian Brewing Company — including E Pike brewery
  4. 10/27/2015 — 20,636 readers — Garbage truck gone rogue closes streets around E Olive Way
  5. 6/22/2015 — 21,031 readers — Mayor Murray set to unveil ‘Rainbow Crosswalks on Capitol Hill’
  6. 1/1/2014 — 22,692 readers — New Year’s fire incident at Neighbours investigated
  7. 7/5/2013 — 24,036 readers — Standoff with armed suspect locks down Bellevue/Denny area
  8. 11/22/2015 — 27,198 readers  Five injured in shooting at Broadway and Pike
  9. 7/24/2013 — 27,198 readers  Reddit, street closure fuel rumors of Macklemore Broadway Dick’s video shoot
  10. 6/16/2015 — 27,356 readers — Broadway says goodbye to Charlie’s — UPDATE: Confirmed :(

6016178You’ll note that six of our ten biggest readership days were in the past year — the CHS audience continues to grow. Here are a few more stories from over the years where we had more visitors than average. They range from…

If you are new to CHS, the list above illustrates only a small part of what we’ve been up to. More important has been the day in, day out dedication from every person who put time and effort into being part of the site. The three, four, maybe five or six stories we bring you every day — 18,245 so far. The 2 AM sirens. The unbelievable scenes that play out in this fantastic neighborhood. The awful, amazing, relentless change. The people, places, and things that somehow manage to stay the same.

Thanks to the contributors. Thanks, advertisers. Thanks, subscribers. Thanks, family for accepting this weird way to make a buck in our lives. Thanks for reading. Thanks for being part of CHS.

Central Lutheran celebrates 125 years of evolving faith on Capitol Hill

IMG_5463Changing with the needs of the community can keep you alive for 125 years. That’s what the leadership of 11th Ave’s Central Lutheran Church believes as the congregation prepares to celebrate the esteemed anniversary November 1st.

“The building continues to change,” Pastor Cindy Salo said of the aged brick chapel and administration buildings along 11th. “But the building hasn’t changed as much as we have. The church has had to become something different to survive in 2015.”

2015 has been an important year for big milestones for Central Seattle houses of worship. 19th and Madison’s Mt. Zion also marked 125 years of community.

Since its establishment in 1890, Central Lutheran, today sitting on the east side of Cal Anderson Park, has managed to continue its service to the neighborhood and its worshippers with openness and a dedication to equality and fairness for all people.

The church was first founded at 7th Ave and Union in a remodeled tin shop as a dedicated English-speaking Lutheran church, contrasting the various Lutheran institutions that catered to immigrants and their languages. The Capitol Hill location’s land was purchased in 1901 for $2,300, according to the Central Lutheran archives. Continue reading